Framing the War in Yemen: Narratives of Aggressive Neighbours, Internal Extremism, and Humanitarian Crisis
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The aim of this thesis is to pull apart the narratives used by Yemeni, Saudi and Iranian news agencies concerning the conflict in Yemen, in order to understand how the conflict is framed by these agencies. In approaching the research question; How do the contending narratives of Saudi, Iranian, and Yemeni news agencies frame the conflict in Yemen between March 2015 and May 2016?, this thesis identifies and analyses the narratives each of these agencies use to portray the conflict in Yemen, using a theoretical framework built around the concept of framing to analyse how each agency places blame, proposes solutions, and positions their country within the conflict, through the concepts and language they use to create their narratives. The analysis seeks to understand each agency’s stance towards the conflict, and analyse how this is perpetuated by their news coverage in order to further justify their understanding of, and intended outcome for, the conflict in Yemen. By outlining the role that the narratives in the media play in shaping the audience’s attitude, this thesis highlights the relevance of identifying and analysing how such narratives are framed. Rather than aiming to uncover facts, or truths, about the conflict in Yemen, its relevance lies in the result of highlighting and analysing the claims made by these news agencies, thus identifying points of contention between them and serving as an alternative perspective through which to understand the battle of words and ideas that is taking place surrounding the conflict. An awareness of the framing processes used to shape contending understandings of the conflict, and the solutions they propose, will allow a more critical overview of the conflict as it unfolds. Furthermore, this research highlights how a set of core concepts was manipulated by each agency; using the same bank of concepts to frame their evaluation of, and proposed solution for, the conflict in Yemen.